Monday, January 17, 2011

Capoeira in the Streets

Ahah, yes the past few days have been the most difficult so far. Just coming up against some cultural edges with our dear old Salvador. Honestly, after my friend got mugged, I started to feel more anxious about the town and the crime and other things that challenge me, like the guys here and how you basically have to storm through the street without making eye contact to avoid unwanted glances, gestures and pursuit. Haha. I can start to think dramatically about it but it is challenging to not be able to just look at people in the streets. But, a cool connection that I made today was between this kind of mentality of always watching your back and the game-fight of Salvador, Capoeira. I met with this 20 year old Brazilian girl who I was connected with by her uncle, who I met in Seattle (he owns a delicious Brazilian restaurant there) who is from Salvador and she gave me a little Portuguese lesson. It was funny because I’m pretty sure that she never has tutored before and she probably just was like “I’ll do it!” when her uncle told her I was looking for someone. She speaks great English but we need to work on our curriculum. Anyways! We were talking about the streets and the vibe and how to stay safe. She seemed to know for herself that the Pelourinho area is totally crazy and there is a lot of crime because of all of the tourists. She lives outside of the center and doesn’t come in unless she has to. I was telling her that I have been stressed about walking around and just pissed at Salvador (Disculpa!) because I was frustrated with always having to be stared at and nervous that I was going to be jumped. She looked at me, with these old wise eyes, and said: “You have to feel the people.” and rubbed her two fingers together in front of her face. It was beautiful and I feel like I got it. Salvador is always playing Capoeira! The game is so engrained in the culture. I wonder which gave birth to which. But yes, I wonder if I can allow this to be my greatest form of security: my intuition! What a lifeeee lessoonnnn right there. Greatest form of Security: Intuition. So, yes slowing down, allowing the body and mind to sense more than coil inside out of fear and pray for safety. I think this is always in work anyways but it’s good to hear from a local ( and she also does Kung Fu, Shes a total bad ass and I told her that in English and she didn’t know what I meant. ). So yea, I think I’m getting over that bit of paranoia that I felt. It was definitely culture shock because Salvador definitely has a lot of crazy and messed-up stuff going on but there is also tons of beauty and art and magic here. I think it is part of the deal. Same as in India, where it is impossible to plan ahead and things are always falling apart and coming together, we are at the Grace of God in these locals and its residents live by this law <3

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